State Elections

2018 Elections – Secretary of State

Candidates for Secretary of State

Jena Griswold

Candidate for Secretary of State

Jena Griswold is a lawyer and small business owner, who has spent her career fighting for justice and fairness. Jena is running for Secretary of State to ensure that every Coloradan can exercise his or her constitutional right to vote, to increase campaign finance transparency, and to make government easier for Coloradans.

Jena’s family knows how important voting is to our democracy and our country. Her great-grandparents came to the United States, escaping persecution in Eastern Europe. Against all odds, their deaf son—Jena’s grandpa—was able to get an education, start a business, and raise a family. Jena’s grandpa taught her the importance of voting and living in a democracy. Jena is now running for Secretary of State to ensure that every eligible Coloradan is able to vote.

As Secretary of State, Jena will ensure that Colorado has the most secure and accessible elections in the nation. In the last presidential election, the Democratic National Committee and 39 states’ electoral systems were compromised by possible foreign actors. Jena will work relentlessly to enhance our election’s cyber security to withstand attacks from domestic agents and foreign agents like Russia.

Jena will stand up to President Trump, to protect Coloradans’ right to vote and to defend Coloradans’ right to privacy. Trump established a “Commission on Election Integrity,” claiming millions of illegal votes were cast in the last election. There is absolutely no proof of this. The Commission serves as a pretext to spread the Trump Administration’s falsehoods, and worse, represents an effort to weaken our voting rights. Colorado must resist any attempts by President Trump to disenfranchise voters. As Secretary of State, Jena will stand up against the Trump Administration, and protect Coloradans’ right to vote.

Jena plans to build a more transparent government by making it easier to see big money’s role in our elections and by supporting a law to require presidential candidates to release their tax returns to get on the Colorado ballot. She will also make the Secretary of State’s Office a resource center for new businesses and entrepreneurs.

Jena knows that voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, and she is committed to ensuring that every eligible Coloradan can vote. As Secretary of State, Jena will fight to make Colorado a place where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

Learn more at

Gabriel McArthur

Candidate for Secretary of State

Leading up to the election of 2016, voter trust was already dismally low for a multitude of reasons. Since then, through the circus that Washington, D.C. has become, it seems to have only dropped further.

This campaign is about looking to the future, and bringing the people of Colorado into a discussion centered around how we can make them confident in the democratic process again.

As a Colorado native having lived in many different regions around the state, I appreciate the unique spectrum of political views voters fall into. Some may hold a mixture of views that could be considered right or left, depending on each issue. While I’m a Democratic candidate, it’s important to me that all viewpoints are heard in the secretary of state’s office. I’m excited by the passing of open primaries in our state, and I want to make sure they, like all elections are implemented as simply and conveniently as possible.

Whether it be fine tuning processes that work well, or rethinking processes that could work more efficiently, this campaign is about making the secretary of state’s office more accessible than ever before.

The secretary of state’s office should be utilizing new media in interesting and thoughtful ways to keep Coloradans informed and engaged about all their services, from elections to business services.

I’m excited to speak with citizens all over this state to learn more about ways they’d like to see Colorado become a torchbearer in the future of our democracy.

Learn more at

Phillip Villard

Candidate for Secretary of State

Hello, my name is Phillip Villard and I’m running for Colorado Secretary of State. The reason why I’m running is I believe I can help Coloradans improve our communities by investing in outreach to residents from the Local Government and by engaging our communities on issues that affect us and our family’s and friends. Most of the outreach will include Economic Development, Infrastructure, Parks & Recreation, Businesses and the Workforce. Together we can create plans to better cooperation amongst all the people who want to help us move our county’s, our state and our country forward into the 21st century.

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2018 Elections – Attorney General

Candidates for Attorney General

Brad Levin

Candidate for Attorney General

Recognized across Colorado by his peers and judges as one of the very best attorneys, Candidate for Attorney General Brad Levin is Founder and Managing Partner of the law firm Levin | Sitcoff. Brad has a renowned track record of standing up to big corporations on behalf of families and small businesses– and winning. Brad is known for zealously representing the interests of his clients and approaching each case with commitment, honesty, skill, and passion. He is the only candidate for Attorney General with the private sector experience managing a law practice that is necessary to run the office of the Attorney General.

A lifelong Coloradoan, Brad has been fighting for civil rights since he was a young man. He serves on the National Executive Committee and National Commission of the Anti-Defamation League and previously chaired the organization’s regional board. Brad is also on the board of directors of National Jewish Health. In addition, Brad has volunteered hundreds of hours of legal services to organizations such as the LGBT Community Center of Colorado and Arapahoe House. Brad lives in Denver with his wife, Patti, and has three adult children

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Amy Padden

Candidate for Attorney General

Amy has devoted more than a decade of her legal career to public service on behalf of Coloradoans. She has served with distinction in both the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, where she worked in the Consumer Protection Section, and in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, most recently as the third in command for the District of Colorado. Her experience ranges from cross-examining terrorist in court, to working on pressing issues of criminal justice reform, to managing a large office of persecutors and staff. Amy’s wealth of experience representing Colorado makes her uniquely qualified to be Colorado’s next Attorney General.

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Joe Salazar

Candidate for Attorney General

Colorado State Representative, Joe Salazar, is running for the Office of the Colorado Attorney General. Joe intends to take the AG’s Office out of the hands of corporations and special interests and return the People’s Lawyer back to The People. Serving in the Colorado House of Representatives since 2013, Joe is the only candidate with the track record of fighting for communities and the health of Colorado’s environment.

As a state representative, he serves as vice-chair of the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee and also serves on the Judiciary Committee. During the 2017 session, Joe brought forth bills that directly fought against the federal overreach of our current administration.

As an attorney, his practice of law has always encompassed a focus on cases of constitutional and anti-discrimination issues. His expertise in employment law, civil rights, constitutional and federal Indian law has assisted in his development of legislation while working directly with the communities they impact. His direct work with stakeholders and constituents alike is why he is the candidate that has the support of The People statewide.

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Phil Weiser

Candidate for Attorney General

Phil is an innovative leader who has dedicated his life to public service and teaching. He is a lifelong Democrat who has worked on behalf of Democratic candidates in Colorado for the last 20 years.

After serving as a law clerk in Denver for Judge Ebel on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Phil clerked for Justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court. He worked in President Clinton’s Justice Department before coming home to teach at the University of Colorado Law School. He founded the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, co-chaired Governor Bill Ritter’s Innovation Council, and litigated civil rights cases pro bono before the Tenth Circuit.

After serving in the Obama Administration as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General and as Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation at the White House’s National Economic Council, Phil returned home to serve as Dean of CU Law. A leader in the Colorado startup community, he co-founded Startup Colorado and founding the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network.

Phil and Heidi, a physician, are raising their two children, Aviva and Sammy, in Denver.

Learn more at

2018 Elections – Governor

Candidates for Governor

Mike Johnston

Candidate for Governor

For the last seven years, Mike Johnston represented Northeast Denver in the Colorado State Senate where he successfully passed major legislation in the areas of education, economic development, immigration and criminal justice. Before entering the Senate, he spent six years as a high school principal, wrote a book about his experience as a Teach For America corps member in Mississippi entitled “In the Deep Heart’s Core” and served as a senior education advisor to the campaign of President Obama. Mike is a small business owner who helps run his family business, The Christiania Lodge, and has co-founded ventures across the country including New Leaders, a national principal training program for urban schools, the Urban Leaders Fellowship, which prepares young people to fight for social justice through courageous public leadership, and Traverse, a strategic consulting company focused on building policies, partnerships, and programs that transform communities.

Today, Mike is building his campaign for Governor of Colorado on the belief that the state is ready for a new kind of politics dedicated to bridging divides and working together to solve the toughest problems. Mike holds degrees from Yale College, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Yale Law School and was named to Time Magazine’s list of “40 Under 40 Political Leaders” and Forbes’ list of “America’s Seven Most Influential Educators.” Most recently, Mike was highlighted in the New York Times as one of “Fourteen Young Democrats to Watch.”

Learn more at

Cary Kennedy

Candidate for Governor

Cary Kennedy is an American politician from Colorado. She is a former Colorado State Treasurer, as well as a former Deputy Mayor and Chief Financial Officer of Denver, Colorado.

I am running for governor because I love Colorado. If we invest in our people, manage our money responsibly, and protect the Colorado we love, we can ensure that everyone here can benefit from our progress.

Colorado is innovative, forward thinking, solutions-oriented, and welcoming. We have built one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation. But, our work in Colorado just got a lot tougher. We lost our partner in Washington. We won’t let Washington take our state backwards. I am running for governor because I love Colorado. If we invest in our people, manage our money responsibly, and protect the Colorado we love, we can ensure that everyone here can benefit from our progress.
I started my career by writing and helping pass Amendment 23 that’s prioritized education and protected our schools from even deeper budget cuts. As treasurer, I created a billion-dollar program, with no new or increased state taxes, that’s renovating hundreds of aging school buildings around our state – so that all kids including those in low-income and rural communities have modern learning facilities.
I want all of our kids to have opportunities and be able to compete for the jobs in Colorado’s growing economy.

If I am elected governor, I will make education Colorado’s top priority. I will work with our schools and communities to make sure every child gets a great education that is engaging and empowering. We can give every child the opportunity to go to preschool and kindergarten. We can give our teachers the professional pay they deserve. We can offer technical and professional courses while kids are still in high school. And we can get our kids through college without burdensome debt.

We need to manage our money responsibly. This has been my life’s work. As State Treasurer and Denver’s Chief Financial Officer, I’ve been in charge of your money for over a decade. I’ve kept our budget balanced. I’ve put our state on stronger financial footing. And Colorado’s taxes are among the lowest in the country.
That means making sure our roads, highways and transit can accommodate everybody. It means making sure we’ve got enough great, modern schools for all of our kids. It means making sure we protect our water, address climate change and expand broadband so that every family has what it needs to thrive.

Learn more at

Jared Polis

Candidate for Governor

Jared Polis is an independent leader with a proven track record of turning big ideas into real results, Polis will meet with innovative leaders in the renewable energy, business, and education sectors. “I’m running to be Colorado’s next Governor to turn bold ideas into real results. Colorado can lead the way into the future by building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. I have a plan to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 and provide free full-day kindergarten and preschool in every community across our state. This campaign will be about big ideas and a vision for what we can accomplish together for Colorado’s future.

2018 Elections – State Treasurer

Candidates for State Treasurer

Bernard Douthit

Candidate for State Treasurer

I was born and raised here in Colorado, and while I have a long history of community and civic involvement, I am not an insider.  I am not part of the wealthy, well-connected, business elite. I am an ordinary person and I still believe that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they work hard are sincere and connected with their communities.  I believe I have the passion, ideas and qualifications to bring real change to this office.

The State Treasurer manages a portfolio of roughly $6.5 billion and sits on more than 8 important boards including the board of the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA).  This office is important and requires more expertise than what can be provided by career politicians who often use this job as a stepping stone to higher office. We need a State Treasurer who is qualified with a background in finance and economics to oversee our state’s finances.  After all, this is our money.

I know what it is like to have to meet payroll within a tight budget when times are tough. In good times meeting a budget is easy. In tough times meeting a budget is the real test.  I have a proven track record of doing both.


As difficult as it may be to predict the future, I think that our politicians and government agencies can do a better job of forecasting costs and revenues. I don’t agree that we need to accept huge cost overruns or revenue shortfalls as a default.

We need a State Treasurer who is truly independent – who will look out for you and your money.  The Treasurer doesn’t vote on legislation, but he can and should be a watchdog – looking out for you and your money.

As your next State Treasurer, I will leverage my background in finance, economics and business to help ensure that our government works fiscally, and is honest and transparent with the people of Colorado.  After all, it’s our money.

Dave Young

Candidate for State Treasurer

My name is Dave Young, and I announced my campaign for Colorado State Treasurer at the end of October.  As a Greeley resident and math teacher, I know the challenges Colorado families face. Our state is growing rapidly. But not everyone is sharing in our state’s prosperity. Places like Greeley and rural Colorado where I come from continue to struggle. I am running for Treasurer because I believe we need to put Colorado on better financial footing, where prosperity from our growth is shared.

I have been a state representative since July 2011, representing east Greeley, Evans and Garden City.  Over the past three years, I’ve served as chair of the House Appropriations Committee and as a member of the Joint Budget Committee focusing on solving Colorado’s budget crisis.

Before my work as a legislator, I was a senior instructor for the Information and Learning Technologies program at the University of Colorado Denver.  Prior to that, I was an information architect for a large Web services company. I started my career as a junior high math, science and technology teacher.  I’ve lived in Greeley for over 40 years and I’m a native Coloradan.

I earned my MA in instructional design from UC Denver in 2000, and my BS in mathematics from Colorado State University in 1975. I’m married to Dr. Mary Young, a school psychologist for Centennial BOCES, and my sister, who is developmentally disabled, lives in Pueblo West.

I’m committed to public service and community involvement. In addition to being a member of the newly-formed Donor Alliance Foundation Board of Directors, I worked as a trail maintenance volunteer for the Poudre River Trail system.

Twitter: @RepDaveYoung
Instagram: @RepDaveYoung
Facebook: Dave Young for Colorado State Treasurer

2018 Elections – State Board of Education

Candidates for State Board of Education, CD4

Tim Krug

Candidate for State Board of Education
Tim Krug is a husband, parent, teacher, and retired entrepreneur.  
Tim worked as an English Language Teacher in the Japanese public school system before becoming the owner and CEO of a chain of successful English Language Schools. When their son Joseph was diagnosed with autism in 2013, Tim and his wife Yumiko decided to move their family back to the United States to provide their son with the best possible opportunities for success.
An Eagle Scout, Tim  volunteers in his church and children’s school.
Tim volunteers one day each week helping dedicated teachers with their enormous workload. While volunteering each week, Tim discusses education with teachers, administrators, and other parents. He serves on volunteer committees and attends numerous forums and seminars to advocate for students and better understand issues facing Colorado schools.
System Failure
Colorado’s educational system is broken and is not a sustainable model for success. Our current system prioritizes vendors over taxpayers and lobbyists over students. Failed reforms have pitted schools and parents against one another in a “winners and losers” model where the losers are taxpayers, teachers, and families. Since lawmakers forced Betsy DeVos-style reforms on Colorado schools, salaries for teachers have plummeted, administrative costs have skyrocketed, segregation has increased, transparency decreased, and Colorado districts have seen dozens of schools close.
Parents Vs. Billionaires
More than a decade of false promises and failed education reforms in Colorado have wreaked havoc on students, teachers, and taxpayers. However, dark money continues to flow through special interests groups to politicians willing to sell out Colorado communities to the highest bidder. Tim Krug has consistently called out politicians who take money from dubious sources funded by Betsy DeVos and other profiteers to turn our kids into commodities. A line in the sand has been drawn between local public education defenders and the profit-driven invaders.
Tim Krug is on the side of Colorado students, parents, educators, and taxpayers.

2018 Elections – Senate District

Candidates for State Senate District

Dr. Julia Varnell-Sarjeant

Candidate for State Senate District 30

Dr. Julia Varnell-Sarjeant is a fifth generation Coloradoan, her grandchildren are seventh generation. Julia attended JeffCo public schools from kindergarten through high school graduation at Wheat Ridge High School. She received her Economics degree with honors from the University of Missouri in Columbia Mo., a Masters in Computer Science from University of Colorado, Denver, and her PhD in Computer Science Systems Engineering from the University of Denver.  Julia is a proud supporter for Colorado’s public school systems because she’s a product of those public schools until her PhD.

In 1892, Julia’s great grandfather was a state senator, and became secretary of state of Colorado in 1900 on the Populist party ticket. Her grandmother is in the Colorado Women’s Hall of fame as one of the few women medical doctors in Colorado, who was graduated from the University of Denver medical school (now the CU med school). Her father was a banker in Denver, and was very active in the Denver community. He spearheaded the drive to build the original Mile High Stadium that kept the Broncos in Denver, and led the drive to build Coors field that brought the Colorado Rockies to Denver. He was also an original owner of the Denver Rockets, now the Nuggets, and started the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

Julia was raised on Colorado politics. She was an active Republican, serving as committee chairwoman and treasurer of the Republican Women, first in California, then in Douglas County. However, the Republican Party she grew up in changed, and she changed. She switched parties in 2002.  She appreciates what the Democrats stand for and had found a home.

Julia has a passion for renewable energy and is a strong advocate of continuing Douglas County’s impressive leadership in transitioning to solar energy. She is an advocate of protected open space.

Julia worked at Lockheed California Company on the L-1011 program starting in 1981. Her responsibilities expanded at Sunnyvale, where she worked as a program planner on a number of Defense, NASA and NOAA programs and proposals. She and husband Jim missed Colorado, so they moved to Highlands Ranch in 1989, where she worked for Martin Marietta until she left to raise her second child in 1991. She worked as a realtor and a mortgage lender as she raised her son, and returned to Aerospace and Defense in 1999, first at Raytheon, then back to Lockheed. She was Chief Engineer on a research project for AFRL, designing defense software systems beginning in 2012. After that, she worked on Corporate projects with an emphasis on Information Assurance, which includes cybersecurity.

Julia retired in 2013. As a retired woman she began writing and blogging and took time to enjoy supporting her family’s interests, as well as undertaking individual projects.

2018 Elections – House District

Candidates for House District

Barrett Rothe

Candidate for House District 43

Barrett works as a health care consultant and is passionate about education, transit, and campaign finance reform. He attended high school, college, and graduate school in Colorado. He and his family live in Highlands Ranch.

Learn more at


Simone Aiken

Candidate for House District 44

Simone Aiken moved from Colorado Springs to Golden in 1997 to attend Colorado School of Mines.  She received degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science, and a minor in Physics and spent the next 16 years writing code for a variety of politically sensitive industries such as email security, geological surveying, health insurance claims processing, and aerospace.  The 2016 election made it clear that we are lacking both in expertise and good faith when it comes to governance. Simone seeks to bring both to the table with her experience designing complex systems, her significant insider knowledge, and her commitment to making government work for everyone.  

Learn more at

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